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NBC is sometimes referred to as the "Peacock Network", in reference to its stylized peacock logo, introduced in 1956 to promote the company's innovations in early color broadcasting. Founded in 1926 by the Radio Corporation of America (RCA), NBC is the oldest major broadcast network in the United States.
In 1986, control of NBC passed to General Electric (GE) – which previously owned RCA and NBC until 1930, when it was forced to sell the companies as a result of antitrust charges – through its .4 billion purchase of RCA.
On January 1, 1927, NBC formally divided their respective marketing strategies: the "Red Network" offered commercially sponsored entertainment and music programming; the "Blue Network" mostly carried sustaining – or non-sponsored – broadcasts, especially news and cultural programs.
In 2003, French media company Vivendi merged its entertainment assets with GE, forming NBC Universal.
NBC officially started broadcasting on November 15, 1926.
WEAF and WJZ, the flagships of the two earlier networks, were operated side-by-side for about a year as part of the new NBC.
On April 5, 1927, NBC expanded to the West Coast with the launch of the NBC Orange Network, also known as the Pacific Coast Network.
This was followed by the debut of the NBC Gold Network, also known as the Pacific Gold Network, on October 18, 1931.